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April 23, 2013

Strength and solidarity in Plattsburgh

(Continued)

She finished triumphantly in less than three hours.

A total 823 people competed in Plattsburgh, with 623 in the Half Marathon and 200 running in the relay part of the event.

It was a great turnout, said co-founder and Co-Director Stephanie Desautels.

“I think everyone felt even stronger this year and an even stronger desire to finish the marathon because of what happened,” Rodarte said.

“We were not going to let fear deter us from the plans that we made.”

’GOOD CONNECTION’

Hammaker had kept his plans secret.

He and Whalen had begun dating about four years ago, and while it wasn’t running that brought them together, “it is something we do together quite often,” she said, “marathons and half marathons.”

When they can, they train together.

”We run all year ‘round,” Whalen said.

They try to go on longer runs together, usually on weekends, and find the shared experience enriches their relationship.

“It definitely is a good connection,” she said. “It’s a time to debrief and communicate.”

The couple had talked about marriage, someday.

Meanwhile, they ran.

In fact, they competed in the first Plattsburgh Half Marathon four years ago and each since.

“It’s a great race,” Whalen said. “They do a terrific job with it. It’s always been our favorite race.”

“It showcases the local running community and shows that we’re not just a community of high-school and college runners,” Drowne said.

’A GOOD FEELING’

Almost 200 volunteers assisted with the event this year, Desautels said. And the City of Plattsburgh Recreation Department also stepped up to help put things together before the race.

“I want to say a special thank you to the volunteers who braved the cold to help set up,” she said.

The City Police Department had increased security in light of the violence in Boston, but there were no incidents, Desautels said.

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